Before 1971 having health insurance was a rarity. Even rarer still was having an employer sponsored plan. Up until that time the few that did have coverage typically had their own self-funded individual policies. All that changed in 1971 when President Nixon did something really foolish and signed an executive order creating wage and price controls as he tried to tame the inflation that was created as we dropped off the gold standard. The poorly thought out plan of direct centralized control over the economy ultimately created chaos. Yep, improper and ill-advised executive orders tend to suck even when they are issued by republican Presidents.
One of the unintended consequences of Nixon’s edict was that businesses now had to figure out a new method of recruiting and retaining talent since they no longer had the ability to offer them additional cash incentives. The end result was that non-cash compensations such as stock options and company based healthcare coverage were implemented. At first only high level talent received these newly discovered perks. However, it didn’t take long for unions to see the potential of such benefits and the pool of recipients quickly began to grow until today employer sponsored coverage is more the norm than the exception for most full time employment.
Initially most policies were meant to focus primarily on catastrophic events. However, it didn’t take long for a whiney public to start demanding more and more out of their coverage. Policies originally designed to cover surgeries and hospital stays were now covering more trivial items such as aspirin and band aids. Eventually things that were normally considered “optional” such as hair transplants and breast implants were getting redefined as necessities. The cost of premiums for having such coverage rose accordingly until it created the inevitable breach in cost practicality. To counter the loss of coverage created by this breach healthcare was suddenly redefined as a “right” instead of the perk it was meant to be.
The recent Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case has finally placed focus on just how warped our healthcare system has become. Healthcare is no longer about maintaining health. It’s about placating whiners and pushing political agendas. Once the ruling came down on the Hobby Lobby case there was an immediate outcry from Liberals that somehow women’s rights were being violated. However, there are a couple of things that they conveniently left out of the conversation. For instance, out of 16 different potential types of birth control the ruling only affected the 4 that Hobby Lobby felt were more closely related to abortion than actual birth control (i.e. the morning after pill).
The second thing that was conveniently ignored by the Left is that the mandate for “free” birth control has only existed since August 1, 2012. Prior to that coverage had always been considered optional. So basically the whining, waling and gnashing of teeth response we’ve witnessed since the SCOTUS ruling has been blown way out of proportion. Finally, nobody has been denied access to anything. The only thing this ruling has done is state that if someone were to choose one of the four methods not covered they can still get it, just not for free.
My wife and I have two progeny, one boy and one girl. When each became a legal adult at 18 we gave them a choice. At that point they could either declare their independence or their dependence. If they declared their independence they would be able to enjoy all the freedoms adulthood had to offer, but would also have to bear the burdens that such freedom brings. Conversely, if they chose the opposing path they could continue to share in our good graces, but only as long as they continued to live under our rules. They couldn’t choose both.
The problem with liberalism is that it has ruined an entire generation by convincing the mindless that they can enjoy the best of both worlds and that dependence and independence can somehow magically co-exist. People have been falsely led to believe that they can enjoy freedom of choice without suffering the burdens and consequences of that choice. Personally, I find it a bit ridiculous that the outcry over the Hobby Lobby ruling is “it’s our bodies, it’s our choice” when the outcry would be just as valid coming from employers if they were to say “yes, but it’s our money”. Just like with the option we gave to our kids it’s time now for our nation to grow up and decide. Do we prefer to live under the burdens of freedom, or the rules of dependence?